Former Falkirk FC and Hibernian FC defender Eddie May has been appointed as the new High Performance Football Coach at the University of Stirling.
May brings with him a wealth of experience through a professional playing career which spanned two decades before moving into coaching with Falkirk FC, where he was both head of the youth academy and latterly first team manager.
The Craig Gowans Football Scholarships were introduced to the International Sports Scholarship Programme at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence in 2008 and May’s primary role will be to lead the performance programme for the men’s first XI, who are the current East of Scotland Premier Division champions.
He will also co-ordinate the wider development of Stirling University Football Club, which comprises six teams and more than 120 players, competing in inter-university competition and amateur leagues.
“I was very fortunate to spend six years based at the University during my time with the Falkirk FC Academy and was able to watch the football programme grow,” said May, who will combine his new role with his current coaching position for Rangers Academy U15s.
“The University is such a great environment to coach at and help the players to learn. Everyone wants to win football matches, but I also want to help the players here make the most of their talent, develop as footballers and gain a quality education.”
May and assistant Mark Spalding have a tough task to build on a stunning season for the first team, which saw them win three trophies and pip Spartans to the league title, earning a place in the second round of the Scottish Cup in the process.
The core of the squad, which includes former Stirling Albion FC players Chris Geddes and Liam Corr as well as ex-Falkirk FC U19 striker Paul Sludden, has remained intact, with several additions such as former Celtic FC U19 goalkeeper Ryan Marshall and central midfielder James Dale, who joins from Bristol Rovers FC.
This squad will be aiming to make it four wins on the trot when they host Craigroyston FC on Saturday (18 August) in the East of Scotland League Qualifying Section.
May added: “Stirling University FC is as good as lots of Scottish Football League clubs in terms of facilities and infrastructure. The short term goal is to continue the excellent work from last season and longer term is to develop the players so they are better footballers and maturer decision makers and also to progress the programme to be the best in Britain.”
Sports Performance Manager Raleigh Gowrie said: “I’m delighted at Eddie’s appointment. He was a strong supporter of the establishment of the Craig Gowans Sports Scholarships during his time with Falkirk and has been involved with the football programme since its inception in 2008. Eddie has an excellent reputation for developing young players and I am certain he will play an important role in the development of football at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence.”